Barr vs. Boortz on Borders


The popularity of Neal Boortz and his brand of bare-knuckled, national greatness libertarianism is one reason Libertarian candidates do unusually well in Georgia. Georgia libertarian radio host, national audience: Seems like an unalloyed good for Bob Barr. But Jim Galloway listened in to a Barr-Boortz interview and heard the two scrapping about illegal immigration.

Said Barr:

"You set a mechanism internally to determine who is here. And if you catch folks that are here unlawfully, and do not submit themselves to a background check that those coming into this country are going to be required to do, then you send them back to their country."

Said Boortz:

"It sounds to me that you're saying, if you find an illegal immigrant in this country, and they're willing to submit to a background check, that that could open the door to them staying here."

Said Barr:

"I think as a practical matter, that makes a lot of sense. I'm not sure how you would go about rounding up millions of people and trying to deport them. The key here is security…."

What's Barr's immigration record? The rundown from the restrictionists at Numbers USA is here, and it reveals that Barr voted against most liberal immigration policies, with a few exceptions. Those exceptions were usually for employers.

Rep. Barr voted AGAINST the Gallegly Amendment to H.R.2202. That amendment would have made pilot workplace verification programs (see above) mandatory in five of the top seven immigration states

Rep. Barr voted IN FAVOR of the Pombo Amendment to H.R.2202. He was voting for a massive new program that would have allowed agri-business to import up to 250,000 foreign farm workers each year for a period of service of less than a year.

Before the House passed the H-1B doubling bill (H.R.3736), Rep. Barr had an opportunity to vote for a Watt Substitute bill that would have forbidden U.S. firms from using temporary foreign workers to replace Americans. Rep. Barr opposed that protection. The substitute also would have required U.S. firms to check a box on a form attesting that they had first sought an American worker for the job. Rep. Barr voted against that.

This is the kind of stuff that starts restrictionists' teeth gnashing. How much Republicans and pro-McCain bloggers make of this will depend on whether Barr becomes a threat, and how much he pounds on the issue.